Reintegration market gardening

POC Culture in the garden

Reintegration market gardening

In Haubourdin, in the middle of the street Carrières-de-cement full of businesses, in an old quarry, there are almost three hectares dedicated to market gardening and mutual aid. Since 1998,Intervalhas been helping job seekers reintegrate the professional world … by growing vegetables.

Culture of earth and culture of the spirit

Intervalaims to reintegrate around 30 unemployed each year, through organic market gardening. Behind the initiative, lies the structure Interm’aide, literally an ‘intermediary association specialising in providing personnel to public and private employers’.Interval organises Integration workshops, which serve as gateways to a return in professional life. It offers the possibility to embark on a personalised journey built on productive activity, training and socio-professional support. Since spring 2019,Intervalhas been harvesting a second plot near the Bocquiau farm. It supplies the kitchen canteens of Loos-enGohelle and Haubourdin, the chain of organic stores, the Haubourdin market Bon Gourmandand more recently “Producteurs d’avenir”, a covered market set up in a space in the city centre left vacant since the closure of a supermarket in 2017. 

The design of social innovation

“Producers of the future, because we produce vegetables, of course, but also because we create inclusion”. For Gaël Her, technical supervisor of the integration project, Interval’s design for social innovation is, above all, a progressive development of an integrated, systemic and resilient rehabilitation solution: reviving fallow land and vacant commercial spaces; supplying certified organic and locally sourced products to a growing network of public, private and individual customers; use market gardening workshops but also road, environment, building and flower maintenance workshops … to reinsert vulnerable groups via monthly contracts.

Naturally, very few actually become market gardeners, yet market gardening helps in rebuilding self-confidence, acquiring skills, following training and getting back into a working mode, without forgetting the fact of becoming food self-sufficient by harvesting a workers’ garden, for example.

  • Porteurs de projet/Project holders :Sylvie Jusserand – INTERVAL
  • Designers :Chloé Adelheim
  • Acteurs/Stakeholders :Ville d’Haubourdin, magasinsBio, Bon Gourmand, écoles, l’Établissement d’Hébergement pour Personnes Âgées Dépendantes/ the city of Haubourdin, organic shops, Bon Gourmand, schools,Nursing Home for the Dependent Elderly
  • Crédits photo / photo credits : Sylvie Jusserand – INTERVAL